Jane Mayer takes on the Koch Brothers [1,2,3] - "For decades, billionaire libertarians Charles and David Koch have spent millions trying to reduce the size of government and slash regulations, making the brothers a target of the political Left and campaign finance reformers. But few people have dug deeper into the Koch empire and family history than New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer, author of the new book 'Dark Money'. Among other revelations, she alleges that the brothers hired private detectives to investigate her after she published articles critical of them. We talk to Mayer about the book and about what the rise of Donald Trump means for the Kochs and their allies." (previously)
"They Don’t Give a Damn about Governing... Once allied with but now increasingly hostile to the Republican hierarchy, conservative media is shaping the party’s agenda in ways that are impeding Republicans’ ability to govern and to win presidential elections."
Kochs Plan to Spend $900 Million on 2016 Campaign - "an unparalleled effort by coordinated outside groups to shape a presidential election that is already on track to be the most expensive in history... These donors represent the largest concentration of political money outside the party establishment, one that has achieved enormous power in Republican circles in recent years. Now the Kochs' network will embark on its largest drive ever to influence legislation and campaigns across the country, leveraging Republican control of Congress and the party's dominance of state capitols to push for deregulation, tax cuts and smaller government."
My Fair Election crowd-sources pollwatching: "We hope that this information will be used by citizens, journalists, and election officials to identify the worst polling places and work to fix them. We hope that officials in charge of polling places with long lines or otherwise operate poorly will be embarrassed, held to account, and so motivated to do a better job." (via Hollie Russon-Gilman and Archon Fung)
Last year, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's Law School released a report (pdf) detailing new, more restrictive state laws that affect voting rights and are likely to impact the outcome of the 2012 elections. The restrictions "fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities." On August 3rd, 2012, they updated their analysis with a pdf of passed and pending State government legislation. Their conclusion: after a century in which the United States "expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full electoral participation... that momentum [has] abruptly shifted." [more inside]
"Indeed, in this year when the United States is engaged in a ferocious campaign for the presidency, the question that ought to be asked is: How does the U.S. electoral system compare to Mexico's? I undertook a comprehensive study of the electoral systems in North America, and the good news is that the United States came in third. The bad news is that there are only three countries in North America." ___With Mexico in the aftermath of yesterday's federal and state elections, Robert A. Pastor observes 8 things the U.S. election system could learn from Mexico's.
Tea Party Nationalism: A Critical Examination of The Tea Party Movement and the Size, Scope and Focus of its National Factions is a new study that released today, just two weeks before the US midterm elections, by The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights (IREHR). Sponsored by the NAACP, it reports that the Tea Party movement is “permeated with concerns about race” and has “given platform to anti-Semites, racists and bigots.” [more inside]
Going After Gore "Al Gore couldn't believe his eyes: as the 2000 election heated up, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other top news outlets kept going after him, with misquotes ("I invented the Internet"), distortions (that he lied about being the inspiration for Love Story), and strangely off-the-mark needling, while pundits such as Maureen Dowd appeared to be charmed by his rival, George W. Bush. For the first time, Gore and his family talk about the effect of the press attacks on his campaign—and about his future plans—to the author, who finds that many in the media are re-assessing their 2000 coverage."
Onward Christian soldiers or the Divided States of America "In the wee small hours of November 3 2004, "a new country appeared on the map of the modern world: the DSA, the Divided States of America." But is this really anything new? In his novel "Sybal"or "The Two Nations" Benjaman Disraeli described the England of his day and said that it comprised not one but "two nations between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other's habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets; who are formed by different breeding, are fed by a different food, are ordered by different manners, and are not governed by the same laws." Out of the divisions of Watergate and the Vietnam war the modern American Right Wing built it self up from the ashes of the Nixon downfall and the party has labored for the past 30 years to build a powerful and united party with the help of of its very own homegrown American mullahs. And of course, no one has been better at surfing this Republican wave than the Bush family. And for the right wing the revolution has just started.
Europe Is Deeply In Love With John Kerry. How Will America React? He's liberal but not an outright socialist; he has Polish origins and an Irish surname; he's better connected to the British Royal Family than that embarrassing proto-prole Bush; he was educated in Switzerland; he speaks French beautifully and, above all, he's married to a spirited Portuguese woman who watches his every step... [More inside.]
Media for Democracy -- a non-partisan citizens' initiative to monitor mainstream news coverage of the 2004 elections and advocate fair, democratic and issue-oriented standards of reporting. The project links voters with more than 100 independent media reform groups in a targeted campaign to prevent the types of media mistakes -- such as early, erroneous and politically biased projections -- that plagued the 2000 election. Brought to you by Mediachannel.org, who recently called primary coverage "Electotainment."
Campaign Finace Reform May be Stalled for up to a year. Way to go team! USA USA USA.... wait a second. You guys suck. Does it amaze anyone how much our "leaders" suck?
Palm Beach Butterfly Ballot Reportedly Cost Gore "The newspaper said the ballot confusion also hurt President George W. Bush; 1,631 people voted for both Bush and Buchanan, whose hole was directly under that of Bush"
Bush, by a technicality. They've run out the clock. Oh dear. This could be messy.